Firefly, a Texas-based commercial rocket company, launched a rocket into orbit Friday morning. This comes about one year after an unsuccessful attempt.
The company tweeted “100% Mission Success”
At 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, the Alpha rocket was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The rocket was originally scheduled to launch on September 11. However, the rocket’s helium pressure dropped and it was canceled. Affiliate KSBY reported.
Vandenberg stated that the Alpha was an economically small satellite launch vehicle. Firefly carried three educational payloads and was able to successfully insert into an elliptical orbit, coast towards apogee, and perform a circularization burn.
It was Vandenberg’s second unmanned rocket launch.
A rocket that appeared to have had a smooth liftoff in September 2021 malfunctioned shortly after. Officials from the US Space Force ordered that the rocket be destroyed in mid-air by the company to protect people and property below. Nobody was hurt.
Firefly and other commercial space companies want to make space an area of business opportunity rather than a sole domain for governments.